Moore’s Law, once more with feeling

Jeff Jarvis reminds us that Moore’s Law is not: “Chips double in speed every 18 months.” Gordon Moore first predicted that the power of microprocessors (as measured by the number of transistors you could cram into a particular space on a chip) would double once every year; later he revised it to once every two years. Somehow — most likely, thanks to careless popular journalism — in the popular imagination this has become set in stone as an every-18-month prediction about chip speed.

Jeff asks:

So I raise again the question of how we can better map content and corrections. How does Moore assure there is a definitive statement of his law? How do we know it comes from him? Once it’s acknowledged as correct, how do we notify those who got it wrong so the can correct it and start spreading the right meme? Truth is a game of wack-a-mole.

I’ve been playing that game for a decade. Here’s a Salon column from October 1997 that addresses it. Here’s a post from just this past spring.
Here’s two pointers for good reference information on Moore’s Law: one from Greg Papadopoulos at Sun and the other from ExtremeTech.

If we all keep repeatedly linking to the good information maybe we can demonstrate that Gresham’s Law does not apply to information, and that good info can drive out bad.

But, you know, I won’t hold my breath.
[tags]jeff jarvis, moore’s law, gordon moore[/tags]

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  1. It’d help if Moore had a blog post ranting about this and we all linked to THAT. then we’d have no doubt that he is the definitive source and we’d all find it. maybe that’s a reason for authorship.

  2. I agree. But in lieu of that there is, and has been for a long time,“official bio” info on the Intel site that confirms the “First I said double every year, then I said double every 2 years” version, so I think it’s as close to authoritative as we’re gonna get. Presumably as the company founder he had some direct involvement in reviewing the information on the Intel site! It’s also the first hit on google for “Gordon Moore Moore’s Law” so it’s pretty accessible. Which makes it remarkable how often the 18-month misinfo still gets recirculated…

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